Smith Mountain Lake offers update on algae bloom swimming advisory

Published: Jun. 18, 2023 at 5:00 PM EDT
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SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Summer plans on Smith Mountain Lake have come to a cautionary halt as an algae bloom affects the waters.

The Virginia Department of Health’s swimming advisory for the entire Blackwater Arm has been in place for a few weeks.

“Anything that you swallow, if you swallow the lake water, it’s just not good. So, therefore, out of an abundance of caution the Virginia Department of Health issued the advisory " says the communications director for the Smith Mountain Lake Association, John Vidovich.

The SML Association has been working closely with VDH and Ferrum College to consistently check the algae levels.

Vidovich says there is now a website that gives details about the changes to the advisory.

“The website has the information from the Department of Health,” added Vidovich. ”It has all the resources and links to the Department of Health as well as to the Department of Environmental Quality.”

Chris Bechtler is the manager of Crazy Horse Marina and hopes the lake community does its part in keeping it safe.

“Things like decaying leaves and grass clippings, if we just make sure those things are not going into the lake,” explained Bechtler. “Possibly in the future, we will have less of these algae blooms.”

While the swimming advisory for the Blackwater Arm has not changed, you can still enjoy summer plans at the lake.

“You can still go boating, you can still come down and enjoy it. The weather seems to be turning perfect now. We’re gonna have a great summer, I’m positive of that.” added Bechtler.

The latest sample results from the lake will be available next week.